Jesus escalates his conflict with the Pharisees by declaring all foods clean.
In addition to keeping the Sabbath is a weekly day of rest, the seventh day, observed on Saturday in Judaism and on Sunday in Christianity. In the book of Genesis, God rested on the seventh day; in the Gospel accounts Jesus and his disciples are criticized by some for not... More, an important part of Jewish religious life was the observance of dietary restrictions. This was not a concern unique to the Jews; other religious groups in the ancient world had similar restrictions; for instance, the Pythagoreans, a Greek religious sect, abstained from eating fava beans on religious grounds. Dietary restrictions helped the Jews to establish cultural boundaries in relation to their neighbors. The most well-known of these was the prohibition against eating pork (see Mark 5:1-20 The Gerasene Demoniac), but it also involved rules about how to prepare food.
One of the goals of the Pharisees was to help Jewish people bring their religious practices into their everyday lives. They believed that acts as simple as the preparing of meals could be a way to glorify God. As part of this practice, they developed the so-called “Oral The Torah is the law of Moses, also known as the first five books of the Bible. To many the Torah is a combination of history, theology, and a legal or ritual guide. More,” a set of teachings and traditions related to daily life. This Oral Torah brough the Pharisees and Jesus into conflict. In response to a question about washing hands before eating, Jesus rejects the Pharisees’ customs through an appeal to the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 29:13).
Jesus continues on to make an even more radical claim: no food can make a person In Hebrew law many regulations warned against impurity. Unclean things were numerous and included leprosy, menstruating women, dead bodies, shell fish, and pigs. More. In the western world, in which food and religion are often completely separated, this may seem like an obvious claim, but as discussed above, it would have been astounding to Jesus’ audience and it would have struck at the heart of their understanding of religious life. Jesus redirects the people away from dietary restrictions to the disposition of their hearts. This is a theme that Paul will take up in his letter to the Corinthians, especially with regard to food sacrificed to idols (1 Corinthians 8).